We have the pleasure to present an interview with Mr. Michael Biwer, Group Show Director of the Entertainment, Media & Creative Industries Division, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. An annual tradeshow that takes place in Frankfurt on April 2 to 4th.
What are the latest trends in the sound and lighting Industry?
We can see two megatrends in the event-technology industry which are impacting on all product segments. On the one hand, IP-based transmission technology is causing a rethink in the entire industry. Central control systems are more and more taking over the management of all associated end products – from displays to PA and light systems, to microphones and cameras. The final triumph of digital technology is not only opening new markets is also bringing a great need for further training among professionals in the industry. For this reason, Prolight + Sound offers a comprehensive programme explaining current digital transmission standards.
On the other hand, the event-technology industry is currently seeing a growing demand for immersive experiences, which blur the boundary between reality and virtual perception. These include virtual and augmented-reality applications, as well as 3D and spatial audio, holography, projection mapping, and 360° projection. To all these trends we shall be giving a platform at the Immersive Technology Forum during Prolight + Sound. Following its successful premiere in 2018, this series of seminars will be expanded at the coming Prolight + Sound to three days (2 to 4 April).
What news have you prepared for the 2019 edition? What are the highlights?
A new feature in 2019 will be an event series entitled "CAVIS – Congress for Audiovisual Integrated Systems." It will focus on the growing market of fixed-installation systems and will be taking place on all four days of the fair.
A further premiere is the "Broadcast + Production Forum", which on 5 April will be casting new light on technological trends such as IT-based transmission, virtualized playout, and UHD streaming.
For the first time, too, Messe Frankfurt will be collaborating with the organizers of the Sample Music Festival. In the wake of this new development, a special area will be created, featuring workshops for Dj-ing, turntablism, and controllerism.
A particular highlight will be the world premiere of the "Vintage Concert Audio Show." This special show, with over 200 exhibits, will feature milestones in concert sound systems from four decades, with daily audio panels and get-togethers at which legendary sound engineers from the various eras will take part. There has never been anything like it in the world.
What are the advantages of exhibiting at Prolight + Sound 2019?
The visitor structure at Prolight + Sound covers the entire value chain of event and media technology: from clients and budget controllers to planners and designers to the people and technicians who put it all into practice. Of course, companies can get in touch with new entrants to the profession and use the event effectively for recruiting. The international nature of the event plays an outstanding role in the process: last year visitors from over 150 countries came to Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse – which will be taking place at the same time. And the media coverage of the event is enormous: at the last count, some 850 journalists were accredited for Prolight + Sound. Exhibitors will also have an opportunity to take part actively in the seminar programme at the fair and to showcase their products, projects and best practices to an interested trade public in the course of talks and live demonstrations.
Can you give us some tips to get the best out of visiting this event?
The programme at Prolight + Sound is wider than ever before: so I recommend everyone to find out about the events of particular interest to them in advance at our website. Of course, you will also find all the information on the web about exhibitors and products. Likewise, the Prolight + Sound app is a useful companion at the fair. It is available for Android and iOS.
There will be an opportunity especially for employees of dealerships and rental companies working in event and media technology to register for the new "insider" programme at Prolight + Sound. Participants will enjoy free admission on all days of the fair and will benefit from personal guidance and further advantages directly on the spot.
Lastly, can you give us some participation results from the last event?
The last Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse jointly recorded around 90,200 visitors. More than half of all trade visitors came from abroad.